There are two kinds of anxiety. When you are coping with an emergency situation, that feeling that you get is called common anxiety. And then you can have the kind of anxiety that isn’t really attached to any one event or concern. They feel anxious frequently, regardless of what you happen to be doing or thinking about. It’s more of a generalized feeling that seems to pervade the day. This second form is generally the kind of anxiety that’s not so much a neuro-typical reaction and more of a mental health concern.
Unfortunately, both types of anxiety are harmful for the human body. It can be especially harmful if you have extended or chronic anxiety. When it feels anxiety, your body produces a myriad of chemicals that raise your alert status. It’s good in the short term, but harmful over a long period of time. Certain physical symptoms will start to manifest if anxiety can’t be treated and remains for longer periods of time.
Anxiety Has Distinct Physical Symptoms
Some symptoms of anxiety are:
- Feeling like you’re coming out of your skin
- Panic attacks, difficulty breathing and raised heart rate
- A feeling that something dreadful is about to occur
- Bodily pain
- Depression and loss of interest in day to day activities
But persistent anxiety doesn’t always manifest in the ways that you might anticipate. Indeed, there are some rather interesting ways that anxiety could actually wind up affecting things as seemingly obscure as your hearing. For instance, anxiety has been connected with:
- Tinnitus: You probably know that stress can make the ringing your ears worse, but did you know that there is evidence that it can also cause the ringing in your ears to progress over time. This is called tinnitus (which can itself be caused by numerous other factors). In certain circumstances, the ears can feel blocked or clogged (it’s amazing what anxiety can do).
- Dizziness: Dizziness, which can also be caused by the ears, is commonly a symptom of persistent anxiety. Do not forget, the sense of balance is governed by the ears (there are these three tubes inside of your inner ears that are regulating the sense of balance).
- High Blood Pressure: And then there are a few ways that anxiety impacts your body in precisely the way you’d expect it to. Elevated blood pressure is one of those. Known scientifically as hypertension, high blood pressure can have various negative secondary effects on you physically. It’s definitely not good. High blood pressure has also been known to cause hearing loss, dizziness and tinnitus.
Anxiety And Hearing Loss
Since this is a hearing website, we usually tend to focus on, well, the ears. And your how well to hear. With that in mind, you’ll forgive us if we spend a little bit of time talking about how anxiety and hearing loss can influence each other in some slightly disconcerting ways.
The isolation is the first and foremost issue. People tend to pull away from social experiences when they have hearing loss, tinnitus or balance troubles. Perhaps you’ve experienced this with someone you know. Maybe your mother or father got tired of asking you what you said, or didn’t want to deal with the embarrassment of not understanding and so they stopped talking so much. Problems with balance come with similar troubles. It can be hard to admit to your family and friends that you have a difficult time driving or even walking because you’re experiencing balance problems.
There are also other reasons why depression and anxiety can lead to social isolation. When you do not feel yourself, you won’t want to be with other people. Sadly, one can wind up feeding the other and can turn into an unhealthy loop. That feeling of isolation can develop quickly and it can lead to a host of other, closely associated problems, such as decline of cognitive function. It can be even more difficult to fight the effects of isolation if you have hearing loss and anxiety.
Determining How to Correctly Manage Your Hearing Loss Issues
Hearing Loss, Tinnitus, anxiety and isolation can all feed on each other. That’s why getting the right treatment is so important.
If hearing loss and tinnitus are symptoms you’re dealing with, obtaining correct treatment for them can also help with your other symptoms. Interacting with others has been shown to help reduce both depression and anxiety. Certainly, dealing with these symptoms can help with the sense of solitude that might make persistent anxiety more extreme. Seek advice from your general practitioner and hearing specialist to examine your options for treatment. Hearing aids could be the best solution as part of your treatment depending on the results of your hearing exam. The right treatment for anxiety may involve therapy or medication. Cognitive-behavioral therapy has also been shown to help deal with tinnitus.
Here’s to Your Health
We know, then, that anxiety can have very real, very severe consequences for your physical health and your mental health.
We also know that hearing loss can bring about isolation and mental decline. Coupled with anxiety, that’s a recipe for, well, a challenging time. Fortunately, a positive difference can be accomplished by getting the right treatment for both conditions. Anxiety doesn’t need to have permanent effects on your body and the impact of anxiety on your body can be reversed. The key is finding treatment as soon as possible.